It doesn’t matter what I think about before I actually begin to write. There are no “ideas” that will aid the process. None.
Yes, the left brain, the intellect, will always try.
On one hand I appreciate its efforts, because it was designed to look for solutions, but it can’t solve problems it doesn’t understand.
More than that the intellect cannot understand that it cannot understand creativity and what goes on in the imaginative creative realm of the right brain! Why? Because the intellect is linear and the imagination is non-linear.
The human heart is also non-linear. So it relates rather well with the imagination but looks askance at the intellect having been clasped in leg irons and thrown behind bars more than once by this potential despot and oppressor -until set free by the imagination!
Though it can’t understand the realm of creativity the intellect can and must understand that it has a critical, supporting role in the creative process, as it does now while I write these words.
Most of the time it appears as if it were the leader as I negotiate through the routine tasks of my life: driving the car, balancing the checkbook, organizing my schedule, speaking to customers, etc.
But the quiet, creative side is the real leader -it’s just not aggressive about fighting for, defending and claiming its role. If the creative side’s leadership is usurped by the intellect and it isn’t given free rein to be itself, to be the lead, they both wither and die.
The intellect has to swallow its pride, get out of the way and not take itself too seriously, disciplining itself to embrace the supporting role for which it was designed.
That is what I am doing here: bringing the two together to work toward a common goal. They are twin sides of my mind designed not for themselves, but for a purpose beyond either one of them that is realized through the cooperation of both.
Whenever we consider the big questions of life the intellect alone is not enough. It is limited to its own boundaries. It is limited by what it is, by its very nature. It doesn’t understand that it can’t understand what it can’t understand!
Like any tool it was designed for a purpose for which it excels, but applied to a purpose other than for which it was intended it fails dangerously.
The intellect is not the source of all wisdom and knowledge onto which the so-called “intellectuals” desperately clutch! It is not “The Universal Tool”! It is not “The Answer”! It is not The Savior of mankind! It is NOT God! -although it is worshiped as such by the atheists!
No matter the question, when left to his own devices and put on a pedestal, the yapping intellect is always jumping up and down with waving arms and shouting “I know, I know!”
But the intellect has a problem: it’s flat; one dimensional. It doesn’t know anything!
It’s a machine!
It can draw you a picture, but only with stick figures, because on its own that is all it sees! Perhaps we can make out the stick figure that it draws to be a man, and the group of smaller sticks arranged in a circle above his head as the sun, and the emanating lines depicting rays of heat and light, but it is our imagination that fills out the drawing and allows us to see the entire scene.
The intellect cannot “see” as does the imagination. It is not thoughtful. It does not consider. It can’t contemplate. It has a narrow point of reference not tied to the world at large. It can rearrange the sticks and it can do basic math, it’s very good at basic math, but it cannot on its own see past its nose. It is procedural and will always remain so.
It’s only when it looks up, shuts its mouth and intently watches the imagination, the conceptual master, does it see beyond “stick land”. The moment it turns away and looks down exclusively at only its own world the vision is lost. It is myopic without the lens of the imagination. Without the imagination the left brain is no more than a glorified pocket calculator.
But that’s the best case scenario.
When men give it credence, power and responsibility beyond its capability it is transformed into a monstrosity, a proud, strutting, violent and dehumanizing force capable of unspeakable atrocities committed in the name of “reason”.
It becomes a mean, craven and wicked little creature with no moral compass that throws big shadows like Hitler, Goebbels, Pol Pot and Stalin. This worst case scenario should be a sinister warning to us all, but especially to those who worship the intellect and its dictates, their every word and action a synchronized goosestep in its honor.
Whereas the intellect is strictly procedural the imagination is conceptual. It can travel the internal and external universe at will, see complicated glorious constructs and understand them in an instant! It can fly, breath underwater, disappear and reappear instantly anywhere –one moment sitting quietly at home, the next fiercely gazing with unblinking eyes into the sun itself, an instant before diving bodily into the sun’s fusion core!
The imagination SEES what the intellect can only describe. But it is mute. It can’t communicate. So many stories, so much ability and talent and vision and but it can’t tell anyone about it.
So it gives eyes to the intellect, shows it what it sees, which prompts the intellect to design more accurate methods of depicting and communicating what was seen.
It’s as if the imagination says,
“The sticks are fine and they are fun but I want you to see what I see and to do that you must recreate my vision as clearly and succinctly and as accurately as possible. Look here, these are colors! You were unaware of these before, I know, but these are only the beginning! I will show you even more! Come with me! When you can construct a model of what I see then you are seeing what I see, being with me and sharing the journey with me! That is what we were meant to do! This cooperation enables us communicate to others what we have seen! We were designed to work together, not to be at odds, in conflict, isolated and alone! Neither of us is complete without the other!”
The job of the intellect is to be the scribe, the translator, the dutiful interface. It is allowed to polish the wheels and clean the windows, but if allowed to take the lead of the creative right brain the result always leads to evil.
The job of the imaginative, creative right brain is to study and understand Creation. Which, when uninhibited by the little dictator’s narrow minded bigotry, gives wings to our heart that can lead us to God.
“The heart has its reasons
which reason knows not.”